Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign Draws Thousands of Inquiries
Inquiries about human trafficking went up during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland when an estimated 50,000 people came to town.
A spike was predicted because large events can generate increased human trafficking cases.
A Northeast Ohio anti-human trafficking group says a public education effort launched a few weeks before the RNC contributed to the rise in attention to the issue.
The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center tracks human sex trafficking cases. Officials say between July 16th and the 25th, 240 people contacted them with concerns about human trafficking. During the previous week the number was 156.
A few weeks before the event, a collaboration of Cleveland area health, law enforcement and social service agencies launched a public education effort which included signs reading “Human Trafficking Happens Here Too.”
Karen Walsh of the Coalition to End Human Trafficking says more than 3,000 people have gone to the website listed on the sign.
“And they are curious enough to say, what is this about, is there more that I might learn about this issue. And hopefully that is something that happens when they go there because the website answers the questions; what is human trafficking? Does it happen here? Who’s trafficked? Why don’t people leave? And who are the traffickers.”
The Ohio Attorney General’s office provided $105,000 for the awareness campaign.